Sinn Féin Revolutionary, Fianna Fáil Nationalist and Revisionist Zionist
Chapter 6: 1935–1937 - Political Reality: Immigration Failure, League of Nations and the New Zionist Organisation (Revisionists)
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1935–1937 Political Reality: Immigration Failure, League of Nations and the New Zionist Organisation (Revisionists)
Ireland’s political direction continued to become increasingly insular in the immediate aftermath of de Valera’s Dáil address, so much so that it was decided to introduce a new Aliens Act in March 1935. Prior to the introduction of the 1935 act, travel and immigration into Ireland had been controlled by legislation passed in the pre-independence period when the country had been an integral part of the United Kingdom. Siobhán O’Connor insightfully suggests that the 1935 act was yet another building-block, albeit a foundational one, in de Valera’s long-term project to ‘define’ the Irish state as an independent entity with ‘borders … distinct from the previous union’ with Britain.1 In many respects the act built on the circumscribed ownership criteria of the 1932 and 1934 Control of Manufactures Acts, and the already limited opportunities for inward migration were dealt a further blow.2
De Valera strongly asserted the right of the state to determine its own policy on citizenship in his opening statement on the second reading of the Aliens Bill saying:
I do not know whether it is necessary to enter into any detailed explanation of this bill or to give any special reason for its introduction … It is obvious that having changed the basis of citizenship … we need in defining as a non-citizen to have a ← 87 | 88 → bill like this....
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